im in unfamiliar territory over here. the past few months have tested me, my husband and our marriage more than anything we've ever experienced. there were times that i looked down the path ahead of us, shake my head and then say, "oh, so that's how people get divorced." there was a subtle build up of anger and frustration that had started to creep up. the toddler and the pregnancy did not help up either. both of us were at a loss for how to make things better. there were issues that needed to be worked through and discussed, but both of you have to be present (and awake) to do that. it was awful and scary and heartbreaking. i've been crumbling inside; it's so hard to feel so much pain when you still love someone so madly and passionately. so when my parents offered to bring me and the bug to Florida with them for my birthday, Orthoman actively encouraged me to go. even though he couldnt go (freaking intern year) we both knew i really needed the time off.
i spent 10. 10! glorious days in warm, sunny florida. i saw my bestest that moved matched there and then my family. incredible doesnt even begin to describe my experience. and my little bug blossomed under all of the love and attention constantly showered on her. it was the first real vacation i had taken since my honeymoon. before that, i had been in middle school. so basically it had been a really long time. i felt all of the stress melting away and i started to miss home, which almost surprised me. i genuinely missed my Orthoman and eagerly anticipated seeing him. when we talked at night we both sounded so excited to hear from each other.
2 nights before we got home, Orthoman broke down on the phone. it had been one of the hardest weeks in his life and the fact that i wasnt there for him really hit him. he needed me and i wasnt there. he said it made him realize just how much i do for him and how important i am to him. while i ached because he was hurting, it healed some of what i was struggling with. i was so ready to go home! not only that, but he was going to have the entire weekend off when we got back! 2 full days of Orthoman was beyond bliss!!!
so when i got home i was shocked with the cold. it was cold weather and a surprisingly cold person. after that initial warm reception at the airport, it became VERY clear VERY quickly that i had misinterpreted the conversation we had the other night. rather than seeing an appreciative and loving husband, for the first time in our entire relationship he was resentful! which was terrifying because it's such a departure from his personality.
i was completely paralyzed and stayed silent. yes, he DID need a vacation too. i know that, he knows that, and if he could have come then he would have been there too. but guess what, it's not my fault he cant take time off in this rotation. i didnt scheme with my parents to exclude him from this trip - they have a timeshare and guess what? it's the same week EVERY YEAR. sorry dear, no diabolical plot here.
now dont get me wrong. there's a line between sharing experiences and throwing something in your face. i tried so hard and was so mindful of it that i always erred on the side of caution. but i didnt expect to get cold looks when my daughter walks around with her new, beloved Mickey doll and i tell the story of how she "conned" grampaw into getting it for her. i learned that as long as we talked about him and only him we would be on safe territory, which was exactly the same place we were when we left. great.
i didnt expect all of our problems to just disappear because i had gone on vacation. and obviously they didnt, but i didnt expect this new beast to enter the picture. since when is my Bubbie resentful?! when did he become "that guy"? oh god. was he starting to turn into that douche-bag surgeon everyone hates?
but that wasnt all that was different. *i* was different this round.
while i was gone i did some serious thinking and took full advantage of the 5 other pairs of hands available to help with my little one. now, i was ready to step in the ring. i left home feeling completely drained and empty. i had no fight left in me and wasnt sure i could make it. i didnt know what i wanted or if i was up to the challenge. but now? now i KNEW that i wanted to make things work. i KNEW that i could handle whatever was going to come up. i KNEW that i was strong enough.
and let me tell you - it's been a fight. i have had to fight and struggle and claw my way back. but once i made it clear that i wasnt going to let him give up and that i was still "in the game", things have started to change. and thank god they have! we were blessed with thanksgiving AND that friday off. WE have been working our asses off on making things better. we've made sure to take advantage of every moment we've had together both as a family and as a couple. even though the money isnt really there, HE said to get a babysitter this week. suddenly, im not doing all the emotional work for both of us. instead of getting home, playing with the Bug and then going straight to bed, Orthoman stays up later to talk to me. sometimes it's only 15 minutes, but that's 15 really important minutes!
things arent perfect, but they're so much better than they were. i have confidence not just in Orthoman, but in ME! i never imagined it would be this hard when we first started, but i also never imagined i would find it so rewarding too. our marriage means more to me now because it's not easy anymore. our first 5 years have been relatively easy and we're definitely not in that honeymoon phase anymore. but that's okay now. i cant take our relationship for granted right now because we've put so much into it. so if you're going through this struggle, know that it can be better. it can improve. you do have that fight in you.
after he fell asleep, i kissed my Orthoman goodnight and started to cry. but unlike the past few months, i wasnt crying because i was unhappy, frustrated or mad. i cried because i remembered how much i loved him and knew we were going to be okay.